Vigilance is vital when it comes to your pool

SURVIVAL TACTICS: Teaching your children to swim is especially important if you have a backyard pool. Picture: Shutterstock
SURVIVAL TACTICS: Teaching your children to swim is especially important if you have a backyard pool. Picture: Shutterstock

Statistics show private swimming pools or spas are responsible for half of the drowning deaths for children under the age of five.

Those at greatest risk are toddlers, aged one to three. For them, drowning is the single most common cause of death.

And for every drowning there will be eight children admitted to hospital after immersion (near drowning accidents) with some suffering some form of brain damage.

You should remain within arm's reach of toddlers to ensure you can always get to them in time."

Kidsafe - the Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia - says simple measures would prevent these deaths and near drownings.

Kidsafe is emphasising three aspects of pool safety: supervision; hazard reduction; and education.

Supervision

Kidsafe says you should keep a constant watch on your children around the water and don't be distracted by your phone.

Active adult supervision involves focusing all of your attention on children at all times, when they are in, on or around the water. Do not expect older children to look after their younger siblings as children have short attention spans and can be easily distracted.

You should remain within arm's reach of toddlers to ensure you can always get to them in time if something goes wrong. Always take children with you if you leave the pool area.

Reduce the hazard

You should always have safety barriers and fencing around your pool to restrict access to water. Make sure you move things such as pot plants and chairs away from the fence to prevent children climbing onto them and over the barrier to the pool. Never prop open doors or gates.

Kidsafe says you should make sure to regularly inspect and maintain your pool barrier and gate to ensure they are working properly. Weather conditions and general wear and tear can affect its performance.

Education

Water familiarisation lessons can assist in teaching children to swim while also helping them understand water safety.

Adults in the family should all learn CPR and update their skills regularly so that they are prepared in the event of an emergency.

Resuscitation posters are a good reminder to keep around pools and spas.

For more information you can check out the Kidsafe website at kidsafe.com.au.

SHARE